Jan 23

Reading or Writing

I was looking at my pattern of writing posts and realise I’m defintiely a consumer rather than a producer. I try and avoid posting from work, as at the moment I think it would push the interpretaion of valid use of computers, despite the fact that I do a lot of browsing – although I can always argue that is for research of the use of web technology . When I get home, I’m more in the mood to consume, to suck down content instead of writing stuff down.

So I tend to store things and write them up at the weekend. Hence the flurry of posts today!

Jan 23

Framing the pictures

Finally got some pictures framed. They’d taken 3 weeks and cost just over £90. There were 2 tapestries plus a screen print I’d picked up from Australia. Now all I need to do is find somewhere to put them; re-arranging the walls is on the cards for later.

Jan 23

Bloggers Meeting

As mentioned, I went along to the London Bloggers Meet on Wednesday. Met a good mix of people, who run a variety of blogs and here’s a few of them:

Looking at these later, I realised how quickly I’d come to rely on the aggregator, instead of trawling through the different sites. I currently use Bloglines, but it could be any of them. It’s harder to check thoese without RSS feeds than those with, which means I’d visit less.

The night was fun, there was a good conversation about a wide range of topics lasting til closing. I’d left work earlier than usual (if you can call 6.45 early) and it was great to think about different things. Of course, this had to be the day I’d been delivered some flowers – hauling those around the tube and the pub was a little difficult. Luckily they were in a large box, so better than a bunch
to manage.

Felt tired all of the next day though, did not get home to after 12.30. BUt will defintiely be going to the next one.

Jan 16

Sunday mornings

Love Sunday mornings when there’s nothing to do except drink coffee, eat toast and actually get round to some of the programme’s that got TiVO’d during the week.

Jan 15

What to Blog?

Julie Leung’s entry about Privacy and Secrecy resonated with me this monning, coming so soon after conversations at work about their blogging policy (or lack of it). Writing on a blog is sharing with a community, even if few people read it. You can share your thought processes, the things that are bugging you, the stuff you want to remember. But there’s always some kind of self-censorship, driven by both internal or external restrictions. I wouldn’t write here the same sort of things that I’d put in a hand written personal diary , but I may write more than I would relate in a conversation, partly because I’ve had time to reflect and can think during the writing process instead of the immediacy of talking.

The connectin to work? We don’t have a blogging policy, but they are slowly thinking their way towards them (i did have to explain what a blog is). We were discussing the dismissal of Joe Gordon from his job at Waterstones and the difference between commenting on a blog and havimg a loud conversation in a pub: permanacy. Something I say here could be round for a while. The team memeber I was in conversation with, is currently extremely conservative: employees should not document any aspect of their work life. I’m more in line with restricting discussion about company strategy, business decisions etc, which is in line with current policies about conversations, emails etc to other people. On our actual products, I should be able to say what I like and don’t like.

But if they go with the most extreme view, that makes a third to a half of my waking life off limits. And work is normally the area of the life that causes the most problems. If things piss me off, if I’m working silly hours or if things are going great, why shouldn’t i vent here. If I worked for Waterstone’s I definitely couldn’t. Where I am now, I’m not sure.

Back to Julie’s post, there are things that I would not share, things that I do share and things that I want to, but it may not be a good idea.

Jan 12


A huge global re-organanisation was announced at work yesterday. It looks like out team is not directly affected, we had a good re-ordering not so long ago. So it’s business as usual whilst being extra careful around people that may be affected.

Jan 11

mini Macs

liked the look of the mini mac that was announced by Apple today..especially as it is already for sale on the the UK Apple store site for shipping in 2 weeks. Could definitely see the attraction in getting it for the parents to reduce the support I need to do. However, the grandparents – they’d break anything. But support over Xmas this year for them was showing them how to send an email, much easier to cope with then the normal stuff they have. By now, i think they now have a regular account with the store to fix things.

Jan 11

Creative Zen PMC – number 2

my replacment PMC is working very well up to now..at least it’s passed the 30 day mark which is more than the first 1. Subscribing to a few feeds via iPodder gives me some great random videos from all over the web -keeps me entertained onthe commute home. Just have to be careful to remove the random blue movie that creeps in…..especially before taking it home and letting the young cousins play with it 😉

Jan 11


Being playing CSI games on the PC (yea for New Year sales) and whilst the gameplay gets so boring after about the second case, the attraction for me is definitely the story – who did it and why…and watching the forst series of CSI on re-run can definitely see where the dialog on the game comes from. But it’s far better when there’s action on screen instead of static graphics

Jan 09

Special Effects Poll – surprise wins

Saw this survey via BBC and it does not surprise me…the favourite special effect shot in films os the 1977 opening Star Wars shot of the Imperial Star Destroyer coming into view. This was followed by the 1933 King Kong climax. Six out of the top 10 are older than 20 years old. So, its not the money or the slickness of the effect that has proven to be a winner. To me, it’s the memorability – doing something that has not been done, that makes people stop and just go ‘oooooohhh’ (or whatever words you want to say here!)

So good effects enhance the storytelling and add something new – they are not just effects for their own sake, as you can see quite often in modern films.

Jan 09

Dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians…

During the week I’ve watched the increasing opposition to the BBC screening Jerry Springer the Opera on BBC2 last night. In a way the protests made me want to watch it even more – what is all the fuss about. People who had seen the show on stage generally reported that they enjoyed it; although the swearing was mentioned, the blasphamy was never covered. Of the 2 areas, it seemed that the comments about Christianity were causing the most offence. However, this is the first time I’d heard these types of comments even though the show has been on stage for a while – so why is putting it on TV any different. There is still on off button – you don’t have to watch.

We don’t have free speech enshrined in any constitution as the US does; in fact, as a nation, we have practised censorship for many years. One of the weirder aspects of the Lord Chamberlain’s job! The BBC are as guilty of doing such things in the past, eg Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Relax in the ’80’s. But times change, standards change and the BBC, as the public service, has to change with it.

Was I offended by the show? Not really. Most of the swearing was used as you would here in normal speach patterns and to quite good dramatic effect, just a few lines were too much for me personally (of course, having the subtitles on makes it more obvious!). Did the comments on Christianity upset me. No – but I’m a lapsed Catholic, not someone who would get upset. I got bored in the first half. I don’t watch these types of shows on TV, so a parody of them missed the mark with me a little. The second half I found had some really interesting commentary about forgiveness and morality, especially the ending lesson – look after yourself and others. This is as valid for the pople who are desparate to get on these shock shows as it is for all who are watching. Look after others and yourself. Very good philosophy.

And the post title..great line from the song about having a Jerry Springer moment. That, and wanting smacks form Moma, are definitely going to stick in the head.

Jan 05

Back to work

Work is back with a vengence. Yesterday was pretty quiet, just catching up with holiday stories; today – back to being full on with lots of stuff happening. Started off withthe boss calling at 8.40 and catching up for nearly an hour before moving into basically non-stop meetings and doc prep for until nearly 8. Lovely – when’s the next holiday?

Jan 03

Bank Holidays

On my last day of holiday before returning to work tomorrow, I’m having what could be called a typical Xmas Bank Holiday. Watching Zulu on the telly, drinking ice-cold Tanqueray and Tonic and perusing holiday brochures – the TV ads that started on Christmas day are getting to me at last. All I have to do now is choose where I want to go. I’m always tempted to go back to places I’ve been – I love Barbados for exmaple. But maybe I should try something different. One that has caught my eye is an activity holiday in Tuscany – the activity being the study of local food and wine – definitely my kind of holiday. So one weeek there and a scuba diving week later in the year (maybe the Maldives) is looking on the cards.

Jan 02

More site changes

Spent the morning re-organising some pages and uploading some more photos. The domain home page now has links to the family history pages plus my photos. Added some more Australian photos and some from New York, along 5th Avenue.

Still having trouble working my way round style sheets and divisions (instead of font tags and tables) but getting there.

Jan 01

It’s a new year

It’s a new year, time to look forward and time to reflect on the last year.

Like much of the world, I’m guessing, I’ve spent the last week watching the events around the Indian Ocean unfold, the numbers climbing and relatives’ hope diminishing. I’m now find myslef looking for good news on the web and on TV, about people being found, as it gets too much to only watch the bad news. I wish there were something I could offer apart from money, but that is what is being requested. I’m waiting til I’m back at work next week so the donation can be doubled through the company scheme.

Dec 15

New York

When I finally got there, after a 2 hour flight delay, had a great shopping time in New York. Graham Norton was also on the flight, looking completely chilled out; managed to get throguh immigration and customs extremely quickly, even with the new fingerprinting and eye checks. The Virgin Limo service was efficient, with minimal waiting and I finally got to Hinata’s at around 7.30. Far too tired to do much.

Next day first of all went downtown to Century 21, a great discount shop similar to TK Maxx and got me a new winter coat and boots, before coming back up and wandering down 5th Ave from 35th up to Central park. I love this walk; it’s something I tend to do most times I’m in the city, and this time it was fun with all the shop displays. I think Bergdorf’s was the best, even through it seemed to have the least number of people outside, far less than Saks. Saks was aimed at children, with cartoon like characters whereas Bergdorf’s was definitely an adult theme – my favourite was the Chocolate window, with a woman obviously enjoying herself surrounded by all these chocolate models. Had a nice meal at Artisan’s on 32nd St to close down the day.

Since then, lots of work and very little time. I may be staying an extra week – I’ll work that out later.

Dec 11


Another relative relaxing Saturday morning only marred by forgetting to switch the alarm off so that woke me at 6am!

Got all my washing drying done and then packed up for New York. And hte car’s just arrived early so have to rush – trying out Virgin for the first time.

Dec 09

Glut of DVDs

I’m still working my way through the first 2 series of Alias on DVD and now, tomorrow, the 4 Disc edition of The Return of the King comes out. So lots more things wo watch…it’ll keep me going through Christmas holidays. If I could only catch up with my podcasts…but Creative have still not replaced my PMC…mainly due to DHL not been able to pick the faulty one int he first place.

Dec 09

Christmas Parties

We had our team Christmas party yesterday. First of all, spent all day at a team meeting before going out and partying all night.

The day was all about project governance; the team all works in IS projects and this was the next step in making usre everyine is working in the same. I was prsenting for a section and nothing was a surprise, so it was a little boring. However, it apepared to have been less boring than most people were expecting – got good feedback about it. We only had a short day anyway, as we did not start until 10am

After this, we went to the hotel to get ready before the buses picked us up. There’s 24 in the team, so enough to have a good party atmosphere. We were in Milton Keynes and were due to party at the Milton Keynes Bowl, with one of the typical corporate evetns that take place around Christmas.

As usaul there was mixed efforts in the dress/style of the team, but most people were in party frocks or DJs. When we got to the place, it was done up a treat – a great marquee with Christmas lights and plenty of room. There were about 100 people in the place, and the theme (of the entertainment and decoration anyway) was of Russia.

The food was good, the wine was plentiful and the post-dinner entertainment was fun. They had fair rides – the Dodgems was brilliant. Spent some time playing blackjack and roulette before spending the rest of the evening dancing. I was good with the wine, although not every one was. We finally got back around 1.30, and some continued with the drinking. Me – I went to bed. There were plenty of sore heads this morning; this is when I felt good when having to face all of today meetings!.